Friday, July 31, 2009

Deceptively Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpeas

Since we are trying to eat better, eating cookies is off the list. I thought these might be a bit of a compromise since it's pretty low in fat and high on protein because of the chickpeas.

This recipe is from the cookbook Deceptively Delicious. I saw this recipe featured on Oprah, where she raved about the cookies. Everybody remember that one? I thought even if they are half as good as regular cookies, I'd be happy. Also I thought the chickpeas might seem like nuts in the cookies.

The verdict?
hmmmmmm...not so much. They were OK. Because we haven't had any sweets in the house, we inhaled these pretty quickly, but I was still disappointed. I didn't feel so bad serving my son one for dessert after lunch the next day, but it was still a chocolate chip cookie. Like I said in my post about Cookie Perfecting Secrets, there are NO HEALTHY cookies. I guess I'm the one who needs to realize it!

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpeas

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarin with a wooden spoon or on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Potato Salad

Wow has it been a month already?

My break from this blog was great and I got re-inspired to make some fun recipes. Hope you enjoy the recipes I have lined up in the chute!

I'm always looking for new uses for sweet potatoes, since my family will eat them in almost any form! So when I got a sweet potato, apple and celery in with my Produce Club basket, I thought we'd give this a try.

This recipe is originally from the South Beach Diet Cookbook, and although we aren't doing the South Beach Diet, this cookbook seems to have recipes without too many processed foods.

The verdict?
Everyone gobbled it right up at dinner! The cookbook says this would be a good alternative for the classic potato salad, but I thought it was on the sweet side. I also added a sliced green onion, because I have a ton of them, and wanted to add a little savory to the mix.

I am also sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap. Check out all the great recipes over there.

Sweet Potato Salad
Makes 4 servings

1 pound sweet potatoes scrubbed
1 large apple peeled,cored, and cubed
1 rib large celery chopped
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt

Cook potatoes either on the stovetop on in the microwave. Cool. Peel and cut into cubes.
In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes apple, and celery.
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour the mixture over the potato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Light Box

One of my Blog Goals for 2010 was to create a Light Tent. Now that it's getting dark well before my food is ready for their close up, I wanted to overcome any low light issues that make my photos dark, fuzzy and pretty much worthless.

I followed the instructions at Digital Photography School and went to work. My husband helped with the light, although all I really wanted was a desk lamp, he seemed to think his sodering iron wanted to get in on the action. Sometimes, I just can't deny the man a project. He made the lightbulb contraption, I got busy on the box.

Here's my plug for Kohl's: Thanks for the shipping box! (also, hello cluttered countertop!)

I cut off the top and made squares in the three sides.

A white undershirt got donated from my husband's drawer, and that was cut up to cover two sides and the top. I taped the edges with packaging tape. This is to diffuse the light so you don't get the glare of the lightbulbs on your object.

I taped a white piece of computer paper on the bottom and backdrop, then cut a piece of parchment paper to drape over the seam.

Then attached the light to the top and off I go. It's not totally perfect, but it gives me much better photos when it's 10:00 at night!

I've also found that by using white plates, they blend somewhat into the background.

What I would do differently next time: I would paint the inside of the box white, and I'm still looking for a large piece of paper to drape in the inside.

I keep this somewhat awkward box on top of my frig, and I'll only had to use it a few times, but it has really saved my photos on those dark nights. I'm glad I can mark this off my blog goals!

Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking